Live Board diving in Maldives offers some of the world’s most pristine and colorful reefs along with luxury dive boats that satisfy the choosiest of vacationers


Maldives  Worldiveaboard Diving

Diving in the Maldives by live aboard offers the best in many must-have tropical experiences. Deserted, white sand islands peep up out of the ocean by only two meters, stretching seamlessly into an underwater paradise of wildlife nourished by the Indian Monsoon current. The Maldives’ crystal clear waters are home to mantas, whale sharks, and reef sharks, not to mention the brilliant flatworms and ghost pipefish who hide among its wrecks, coral gardens, channels, and pinnacles. Maldives live boards offer itineraries encompassing the world-class dive sites of North Male Atoll, Ari Atoll, Baa Atoll, Hanifaru Bay, Rasdhoo and many more, including remote atolls in the far north and south where you’d be hard-pressed to see another live aboard.



Some resorts have good dive sites nearby but if you wish for the greatest marine diversity and a variety of sites then liveaboard diving is king. For more information on the charter routes and all the other travel information you might need to visit Maldives, read


These cruise vacations are very popular and you need to plan ahead to make sure you get the trip you want. We recommend that you book at least 6 months in advance during the Maldives high season as many trips become fully booked prior to the departure date and last minute availability is almost unheard of.

As a general rule of thumb, the northern areas tend to have healthier reefs and better macro life, whilst the southern areas have more sharks. Since the islands are scattered over a large area, and the best diving is found inside and outside the atolls’ lagoons and in the channels in between, the best way to see the region is by live aboard.


Review our map below of the Maldive Islands and their location in the world. Here, you will find information on how to get to Maldives.

As a general rule of thumb, the northern areas tend to have healthier reefs and better macro life, whilst the southern areas have more sharks. Since the islands are scattered over a large area, and the best diving is found inside and outside the atolls’ lagoons and in the channels in between, the best way to see the region is by live aboard.


Review our map below of the Maldives Islands and their location in the world. Here, you will find information on how to get to Maldives.



Live boards in Ari Atoll come for its submerged, volcano-shaped pinnacles, which attract immense amounts of big marine life. Diving in and near Ari Atoll can bring you face to face with manta rays, pelagic fish, and even hammerhead sharks at Rasdhoo Atoll to the northeast. Within Ari Atoll’s 40 km length and 105 small islands, dive sites like the premier Maaya Thila, overflowing with reef life, or Donkalo Thila, one of multiple manta cleaning stations, are only accessible to live boards. The most dependable Maldives dive sites for whale sharks and manta rays are located in this area. Experienced divers will be best able to navigate the strong currents that bring the giants to Ari Atoll. Maldivian live boards to Ari Atoll are mostly MV luxury yachts.

The length of most live aboard itineraries to Ari Atoll ranges from 7 to 12 nights. The best time to dive in Aril Atoll is the calm-sea season of December to May. The water temperature usually remains between 26-29 C, and visibility at a good 15-20 meters. Budgets for liveaboards in Ari Atoll range between 200 to 400 euros per. day. Ari Atoll liveaboards depart from Male, reachable by short flights from nearby Singapore, Dubai, and Colombo, as well as longer flights worldwide. Places to dive in and around Ari Atoll are North and South Male Atolls, Rasdhoo Atoll, and sometimes Baa Atoll. Ari Atoll live aboard itineraries will often include a combination of the above.

Baa Atoll, in the Maldives Northern Atolls area, offers an array of famously beautiful underwater landscapes and plentiful marine life. At Maavaru Kandu, you can dive below huge rocky overhangs festooned with luminous pastel gardens of blue, yellow, and green soft corals. Dhonfanu Thila and Dhigali Haa dive sites are underwater pinnacles known for their scenic whip corals, bushy black corals, and sea fans, as well as schools of snapper and regular manta rays. Hanifaru Bay even enjoys world-famous manta and whale shark aggregations during the plankton-rich months from August through November. Some diving in Baa Atoll is suitable for beginners, with moderate currents. Live boards in Baa Atoll are mostly MV yachts and luxury yachts.

The length of most live aboard dive cruise itineraries to Baa Atoll ranges from 7 to 10 nights. Baa Atoll dive sites can be visited year-round, though the southwest monsoon from May to November can make the seas a bit choppy. The water temperature stays stable at 27-30 C. Budgets for Baa Atoll live boards range from 200 to 400 euros per day. Many live boards bound for Baa Atoll depart from Male. However, some depart from Hanimadhoo in the north, and spend their whole itinerary in that area. Hanimadhoo can be reached by domestic sea plane from Male. Some itineraries on a Baa Atoll-bound live aboard include North Male and Ari Atoll. Other itineraries may spend more time among Baa’s uncrowded neighbors in the north: Lhaviyani, Noonu, and Raa Atolls.


Longer dive safaris include Lhaviyani, Felidhoo, Vaavu and Meemu atolls, whilst during January-March several Maldives dive live boards focus their attention on Huvadhoo Atoll in the Deep South close to the Equator. No matter which dive trip you choose, you can be sure to see healthy corals surrounded by colorful reef fish and plenty of pelagic fish action on each and every dive.



  • Jump off the plane and hop on a boat for a classic Maldives dive trip in the Central Atolls.
  • Grab your bunk on an exclusive Far North Atolls live aboard for untouched, pristine diving.
  • Drift dive the Southern Atolls in serenity and witness Maldives marine life with exceptional visibility.
  • Crack the Maldives’ best-kept secret- tiger sharks and oceanic white tips in the Deep South.



Male is the main live aboard departure location in the Maldives, and the country’s capital city, located on the southern edge of North Male Atoll (also called Kaafu Atoll). The main Male departure port is Hulhule, next to the Male airport. Live boards diving in the Central Atolls set out from here. North Male Atoll is the best known and explored dive area in the Maldives, long recognized as a world-class manta and reef shark destination with many longstanding, beloved dive sites of pinnacles, wrecks, coral gardens, and cleaning stations. Entry level divers can find offerings around Male, even though currents can be strong. Standard liveaboards departing from Male may visit North Male Atoll, Ari Atoll and Rasdhoo Atoll, and sometimes Baa Atoll as well. Other liveaboards may head south of Male Atoll to include Meemu (Malaku), Vaavu (Felidhu), and Thaa (Kolhumadulu) atolls.

Travelers bound for Male can take direct flights from Dubai, Singapore, and Colombo. Longer international flights from Europe, America, China, India, and Australia are all readily available, often connecting through the airports mentioned above. Flights to the Maldives are available on multiple airlines, such as British airways, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, Emirates, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines, among others. From the UK, expect at least a 13 hour trip. From Germany or Australia, the flight duration is at least 12 hours. Divers arriving from the USA can fly first to Singapore, with a flight duration of 20 hours from Los Angeles.



The best time to dive in Maldives is all year. However, some people prefer to avoid monsoon season, which hits the area in April and continues to bring rain through October. The water temperature typically ranges between 26 to 30 degrees Celsius (80 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit) with visibility from 20 meters (65 feet) to as far as the eye can see. Water depths include shallow reefs, deep walls, and everything in-between ensuring every diver can find their perfect dive. For the more intrepid diver, there are slow currents in many area and extremely strong currents jetting through the atoll passes for the more experienced thrill seeker. Whatever your tastes, Maldives has the diving suited just for you, which can be enjoyed in mild outside weather ranging from 24 to 33 degrees Celsius (75 to 91 degrees Fahrenheit).

In Maldives, additional live board’s fees usually include gear rental (n

Vicinity of 40 USD per. person, per. night. Every diver also needs to independently purchase dive insurance before getting in the water. Some other fees like extra alcoholic drinks and special gear such as torches may incur additional charges. In the Maldives, a new Green Tax of 6 USD per person, per night applies for every tourist in the country. Some islands and marine parks have national park fees that are not included in live aboard packages, like Hanifaru Bay’s park entrance fee of 20 USD per person. Nitrox is offered on virtually every Maldives live aboard- some as a complimentary service, and some for a fee. A fuel surcharge per person, per. night may be added, depending on the route. This surcharge usually ranges from 10 to 15 USD per night. If you have any questions about extra fees in the Maldives, please contact us directly. We are here for you.

Minimum logged dives are required by many Maldives diving live boards, Scuba spa Yang and Ying being the exceptions. Ocean Divine requires 20, MV Orion and Amba require 50, and Carpe Vita requires 100. Safety briefings on boats like Scuba spa Yang and Ying are conducted on day one. Check dives on Maldives live boards are often held in Male on the first day.

The official language of the Maldives is Maldivian, or Dhivehi.

A free 30 day visa is issued on arrival to all tourists in the Maldives. However, tourists must possess a valid passport, a valid outbound ticket and either a reservation confirmation in a hotel or enough funds to cover expenses for the duration of their stay (30 USD per. day).

There are no compulsory vaccinations for travel to the Maldives unless you have been in a country with increased yellow fever risk sometime in the nine days previous to arrival. In such cases, you must have proof of a yellow fever vaccination. We recommend standard protection against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, influenza, typhoid and hepatitis A. There is no endemic malaria risk in the Maldives. However, the rainy season (May through September) elevates risk of dengue fever. For advice on Malaria and Dengue, seek professional medical advice before travelling.

Electricity voltage runs at 220-240 volts; the standard socket is UK-style three-pin, but many resorts have universal sockets to accommodate non-UK tourists.

The Maldives is the smallest Asian country by land area (300 square kilometers) and population, but its underwater offerings are comparatively huge- 90,000 square kilometers of ocean. Fewer than 300 of its roughly 2000 islands are inhabited, leaving the rest of the white-sand paradises to sharks and corals, and the lucky divers who visit them. At a maximum height of about 2.5 meters above sea level, the Maldives is at incredibly high risk from global warming, which contributes to its activism for carbon-pollution reduction worldwide. Thirty one protected areas exist in the country, and incredible coral restoration projects are common.

Great visibility, healthy marine life, beautiful corals. Sharks, rays, turtles, and huge schools on almost every dive, Currents can be really strong though. Remember to bring a current hook. On many of the dives, we are required to hook ourselves onto a rock, and wait for some time, while waiting for big fishes. Without the hook, you’d be struggling in such strong currents.

The weather spoiled the underwater visibility because the monsoon was 6 weeks late and we arrived in the changeover period following this, it reduced the visibility considerably so you couldn’t see the fish very well not a patch on previous trips I have made unfortunately. Saw mantas, shark, turtle’s wrasse and the usual fish life but all a bit murky

Exceptional. Most of my diving experience s in the Caribbean where the reef systems are more beautiful but in the Maldives the life on the Atolls is just incredible! The water was 85F, some current but most of the dives are drift dives. The more current there the better as the cool stuff hangs out in the current!

Clear water with sharks, Mantas, Whale Sharks, eels, and Rays. Other than that, meh! Seriously, some of the best diving we’ve experienced. Comparable to Palau but more diversity. Currents can be an issue for less experienced divers. Reef hooks are handy to have for some of the channel dives.

Overall diving in the Maldives was amazing. Huge variety of fish life and the bigger stuff (mantas, sharks etc). Visibility was pretty good most days. We had lots of different types of dives (wreck dive, night dives, drift dives) which kept it interesting. I would definitely come back.

Great and varied wild life. Nice warm waters. A fair amount of current some places, but if you have a calm and understanding dive guide, that helps. So does Nitrox. Very useful for a long live aboard cruise like this, with deep dives to 30m almost every day.

Really enjoyed it. Got to see all the big fish, including mantas, different sharks, turtles, dolphins. The smaller fish were plentiful as well. Currents are stronger than what I am used to so, so it was a new experience using a reef hook.



Depth: 5 – 40m
Visibility: 15 – 40m
Currents: Can be very strong
Surface conditions: Generally calm but can be choppy in southwest monsoon
Water temperature: 26 – 29°C
Experience level: Beginner – advanced
Number of dive sites: 200
Recommended length of stay: 1 – 3 weeks